All I ever knew, as a kid, was that my dad was a cop. I was captivated by his uniform, police car, and listening to his cop friends tell their exciting stories, when they visited our home. All of these experiences had an indelible impression on me, and became a part of my DNA. I was so proud of my daddy, and I wanted to be just like him. My dad, Lawrence Ray Selman, joined the Dallas Police Department in 1952 (Badge #856) and spent 25 years in law enforcement. One of my proudest moments was knowing that he received the Police Medal of Valor, for risking his life to save a family from their burning apartment. He was truly my hero.
My dad excelled as an officer, but his home life painted a much different picture. He had severe anger issues and was impatient in trying to teach my brothers and me how to be a godly man. As I reflect upon my dad’s behavior at home, it is evident to me that he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is not a surprise due to the traumatic situations my dad was involved in over a 25-year law enforcement career. My mind-set, in my marriage and family life, and as a first-responder and chaplain, is to ensure that I attend to my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being in order to be an effective husband, father, papa, friend and chaplain to first responders and the community I serve.